German insurer Allianz has acquired the pension and asset management business in addition to the non-life insurance operations from Aviva in Poland.

The firm will also take a 51% stake in Aviva’s life and non-life bancassurance joint ventures with Santander bank.

The transaction, which is expected to close within the next 12 months subject to regulatory approval, is worth an overall €2.5bn, including the purchase price worth €2.7bn and a dividend payment of €200m.

Allianz has bought Aviva’s business to up its market share in Poland and broadly in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region, it said. It expects to double its revenues in the insurance market in Poland, while balancing out its property, casualty and life insurance businesses.

By taking over the JVs, Allianz will also boost its distribution footprint.

Klaus Peter Roehler, member of the management board at Allianz and responsible for insurance in German-speaking countries and Central Eastern Europe, said: “The acquisition of Aviva’s business will reignite growth in Poland and produce a scale effect in the entire CEE region.”

Swiss Life slashes conversion rates

Swiss Life has decided to reduce the conversion rate used to calculate pension benefits at the time of retirement for second pillar pension products from 1 January 2022.

The insurer will cut the conversion rate in view of the low interest rate environment and increasing life expectancy.

It will cut the conversion rate for women aged 64 years old in the mandatory section of occupational pensions, meaning already insured in the first pillar and with a minimum wage of CHF21,510 (€19,374) per year, from 6.80% in 2021 to 6.50% in 2022 and to 6.20% from 2023.

Above mandatory occupation pensions, so-called Überobligatorium, the conversion rate for women aged 64 years old falls from 5% in 2020 to 4.76% in 2022 and to 4.54% from 2023.

Men aged 65 years old will see the conversion rate for the mandatory segment of occupational pensions decreasing from 6.80% in 2021 to 6.50% in 2022 and to 6.20% from 2023.

The conversion rate for men aged 65 year old for the part above the mandatory threshold will fall from 4.95% in 2021 to 4.71% in 2022 and 4.49% from 2023.

Swiss Life considers the reduction of the conversion rate to 6% included in the proposal to reform the second pillar pension system in Switzerland “urgent”.

Swisscanto’s survey for Pensionskasse study

Swisscanto has launched a survey aimed at Pensionskasse as it preps for its pension fund study 2021 – Schweizer Pensionskassenstudie 2021. It aims to collect data on how Swiss pension funds have fared during the past year. Pension funds can take part until 16 April.

Swisscanto Fondsleitung, formerly known as Swisscanto Asset Management, is conducting the study on behalf of Swisscanto Vorsorge and with the support of the Zürcher Kantonalbank.

The Swisscanto Pensionskassenstudie in 2020 included data on funding ratio, assets under management, asset classe allocations and performance data in Switzerland.

The results of the survey will be published on 9 June and the study’s print edition will be available from 10 June.

CDU/CSU association pension proposals

The Mittelstands und Wirtschaftsunion (MIT), the business association affiliated with the Union, the alliance of the CDU/CSU parties in Germany, has published a position paper with a series of measures proposing changes to the German pension system.

The association has called to turn the Riester-Rente into a supplementary pension and to improve the appeal of subsidies for low earners in company pension schemes.

In the paper, it is also supporting the introduction of a standard pension product with lower guarantees.

Additionally, the MIT is demanding adjustments be made with regards to the retirement age and is considering the possibility of a retirement age at 63 without pension cuts a “mistake”.

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